Future Car Tech: Plug-In Hybrid System Developed for Gas-Only Cars

By Joel Arellano | September 07, 2012
Charles Perry is a professor at Middle Tennessee State University and a former IBM engineer. One day, his daughter asked if he could design something to help save the planet. Professor Perry mulled the request then, with the help of university students, developed a prototype plug-in hybrid motor system for non-hybrid cars. All you have to do is retrofit it to a car for instant—and significant—fuel-economy improvements. ABC anchor Bill Weir interviews Professor Perry about his hybrid invention on Weir's video blog, This Could be Big. Perry details his team's hybrid system which is basically a series of magnets that can be attached to virtually any non-hybrid's rear braking system. Brakes and magnets then charge up the lithium-ion battery which would be located above in the trunk. According the Perry, his design does not require any other changes to the car's undercarriage, and anyone with the skills to change car brakes can install the system. Weir then asks how much of a performance boosts can car owners expect with his system. Perry says that their first prototype -- a Honda -- saw fuel economy increase between 50 to 100 percent better than on gas alone. The team saw the Accord's figures jump from an average of around 20 mpg to 30 and even 40 mpg.
So how much will this system cost, asks Weir? Perry says they're looking to price the system to a $3,000 kit. Check out the video, and let us know: Would you consider buying an aftermarket hub-mounted hybrid kit if it meant you could double your current car's fuel economy? Source: ABC News, Wikipedia, Yahoo!